lazy poem written usingI've since worked to be more sly about where I steal lines, and twist lines and phrases into such unrecognizable forms that you would simply never know where they might have originated. Sometimes, even, a phrase causing another to appear in my head, and the point-of-origin irrevocably lost. I even admit that this poem is lazy; should I even take credit? Does this matter at all?
borrowed lines from filling station,
alone in a rich cloud; we smoked
our last cigarette.
i dont care whether i get coke or pepsi.
he mentioned nothing about the german streets.
the harder i try to chuckle,
the sun forgets to close.
dont you know sirens end w/ punches.
in the meantime, i couldn’t care less,
why & when.
As Gregory Betts has already written, the idea of plunder is one of working through found material, writing already there, reworking out of what has been written into something else. It's what the character in Barbara Gowdy's novel Mister Sandman (1995) did at the end of the book, turning her home recordings of her family's voices back on themselves. Or poet Lise Downe, writing in the acknowledgements of her poetry collection, the soft signature (ECW Press, 1997): "All of these words have appeared elsewhere. Only their order has been changed, to maintain their innocence." Is there still such a thing?